This Thursday there’s a really great way to spend your evening and it’s taking place over at the Parish. For the low low price of 12$ you can treat yourself to a night of alt rock and punk-pop by two kick ass bands. First up are the fun pop punk sounds of up and comers Diet Cig, who put on an excellent and entrancing show; though there are only two members of the band, the dancing Alex Luciano had enough energy to carry a whole room. Headliners are Bully, whose alt-rock sounds will have you reviving your 90s grunge looks and feelings while being transfixed by the raw vocals of Alicia Bognanno. Doors are at 9, so there’s no excuse not to show up early and catch the full set of both of these bands. Chances are it’ll be loud and energetic and the perfect show for a Thursday night.
If you’re looking for one of the hottest stars in the biz right now, then you needn’t look any further than Menace Beach. As far as hype goes, they fall in the vein of Diet Cig and Bully, in regards to the hottest rising stars of 15′. I love the blend of male and female vocals, and especially enjoy the way there’s just a bit of recording haze on it. It gives it the feeling of not having been done strictly with saccharine in mind. This is the lead track off their Super Transporterreum EP, which comes out via Memphis Industries.
It’s not too terribly often that you get word of a pop-punk band like young four piece, Bully who have origins in Nashville. But this group, led by front woman Alicia Bognanno, hail from Tennessee and have put together an album filled with crunchy punk guitar hooks with catchy pop choruses and beyond powerful vocals that will grab you by the collar and not let go for its entirety.
“I Remember” is the opening track to end all opening tracks– it’s a forceful introduction to the band’s sound. The fast paced percussion and shredding guitars are the first things you hear, and then you get Bognanno’s distorted and cutty vocals, which sound as though they may give out at any second as she screams out declarations of memories both crass and tender. There are also moments of reprieve on this number where these vocals are softened, but that is only for a second before you’re back with Bully as they rip though this punk-pop opener.
This first track is merely a bite of the bite that this band has in store for you on this debut album, and to me, the bite is where Bully shines the brightest. Songs that use the off/on switch to mix the two genres are the highlights for me, like “Trash.” This song is as about as metal as the band gets, starting slow, and the vocals are, dare I say, delicate, and then surging into the chorus with fiery heat and Bognanno’s growling vocals. Earlier on the record you get somewhat subtle, “Brainfreeze,” which falls third in the track order, and while the vocals are still grainy and gritty, this song is a bit more refined than the others. Here is where the band strikes the balance between punk and pop– this song sounds like what would happen if a punk band covered a radio ready pop song, which is far from a bad thing. Another definite highlight is late track, “Milkman,” which is a catchy track with a hardcore ending. The bulk of this album is a solid mix of tunes which will catch your ear with their unique sound.
Feels Like is a rapid fire blend of punk attitude mixed with the goodness of pop sensibility. For a debut album, it makes for a great introduction to Bully, and also a good summer album to turn up loud as the heat begins to turn up on us. I look to the future to see what Bully has in store for a sophomore effort.
Last year, I fawned over the Coathangers; they were the act that I raved to everyone about after SXSW. But, in prepping for this year’s fest, I’ve been hoping to find a similar act to win my heart…that might just be Bully. This new single displays the tenacity, with a really raw vocal delivery that’s right up my alley. One can only hope that this means more new music is to come, but as of now, there’s no word. Just enjoy this track, and if you’re at SXSW, the band is giving you 7 chances to try and catch them live.
Download: Bully – I Remember [MP3]
You like Cloud Nothings? You like lady singers? Then you’re going to have to get on it real quick and jam to this tune from Bully. It’s the project of Alicai Bognanno, and she’s done much of the work on her eponymous EP by herself. The guitars have that same angular ringing, pushed forth by the pacing of the drum work; there’s even quick moves in guitar discord that come in and out of varying parts on the track. Just turn the stereo up a little bit louder, sit back and let this slick track knock you back. Look for her EP on October 21st.
Download: Bully – Milkman [MP3]